A New Secretary of Education
The nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education caught many by surprise.
Candidate Donald Trump had included the Department of Education in his wish list of cuts during his efforts to prove his Republican bona fides. Some Conservatives, who were otherwise turned off by his personality and lack of Constitutional knowledge were encouraged by his promises to reduce the role of government in their daily lives.
Instead of dismantling the extra-Constitutional tax-funded money pits, former Democrat President Trump opted to nominate ultra-Conservative appointees to run them (thanks to the counsel of Vice President Mike Pence, no doubt).
DeVos, a school choice advocate who has consistently put her money where her mouth is to promote parental empowerment and options for the education of their children, has received viral condemnation for not being fully subservient to the public schooling dogma.
She was recently interviewed by Rick Albin of WoodTV.com, in which she was asked,
“You’ve heard people talk about you and your relationship to public education. So very specific to that, when your tenure as Secretary of Education is over, what would you hope K-12 public education looks like in the United States?”
“Well I would hope that every single child, every single child has an equal opportunity to get a great education.
“We know that public schools today, traditional public schools are meeting the needs of many, many students and there are many that are doing a really great job and I applaud them, I support them, I encourage them, I encourage them to continue to get better.
“But we also know that even the best school doesn’t work for every single child. Every kid is different and they learn differently and they experience things differently and we need to recognize that and we need to celebrate and support the notion, that more choices are needed and more options are needed for students.”
Public School Exodus
There are numerous reasons cited by parents who pull their children out of public schools. Private schools are full of children whose parents value education enough to invest in it. Successful private and charter schools require sufficient test scores and character references before enrollment, to ensure the classroom atmosphere necessary for student success. The ability to expel unruly and unmotivated students ensures a consistently functioning classroom.
Compulsory education laws have transformed local public schools into “free” day-care centers. School districts and campuses must educate each and every child to parental and state expectations regardless of the student’s abilities, disabilities, and comportment. This reality compromises the purpose of each and every classroom.
When a majority of American parents consider public schooling “good enough” for their own kids because they suffered through it, we have a failure of historical perspective and imagination.
History of American Education
Public schooling is a historical anomaly. From the beginning of human history, the vast majority of children received instruction from their parents and communities. Institutionalized education was too expensive for the masses. Homeschooling produced many of the founders of our great nation.
According to education expert Sam Blumenfeld:
“The U.S. Constitution does not mention education anywhere. It was left up to the states, parents, religious denominations, and school proprietors to deal with. True, in the early days of New England, towns were required to maintain common schools supported and controlled by the local citizenry. This had been done to make sure that children learned to read so that they could read the Bible and go on to higher education. But there was much homeschooling, private tutoring, private academies, church schools, and dames’ schools for very young children. There were no compulsory school attendance laws and no centralized state control over the curriculum.” – The History of Public Education
A Little Rebellion is a Good Thing
Trusting the State to educate your child is a gamble, at best. It has resulted in generations of Americans who believe that parents are incapable of educating their own children, and the United States’ government is a Democracy whose representatives are most qualified to teach every student. The Left knows that the best weapons in their war for complete dependence upon the State is compulsory, institutionalized progressive curriculum to indoctrinate the minds of children into embracing Socialism.
Here’s an idea: Thomas Jefferson admitted, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”1 Our rebellion need not be violent.
We can foment an effective revolution simply by removing our children from public schools.
Some brave parents choose to remove their children from public or private schools to homeschool them. This is a favored method by mothers who revel in the teacher role. Some children succeed in this atmosphere. Other children resent the “schooling at home” method.
A Radical Idea
A recent article published by Good Housekeeping describes a “radical” idea: Unschooling. What some may define as “extreme” and “controversial”, the McIntyre family experiences as daily life. Learning happens all the time in the atmosphere of love and support of family. Relationships with others become much broader and deeper than forced interactions with peers in a school setting, and the priorities of children reflect those of their family.
What if we invited and encouraged our children to fully explore a subject that intrigues them? What if they could delve deeply into their natural interests, becoming experts in their fields of study? What if Social Studies became meaningful civic experiences in their community? What if they learned that they were born with the dignity inherent in unalienable rights protected by a Constitutional Republic?
Are you ready to start a revolution?
Please consult your state laws and consider joining a local homeschooling association before stepping out on this exciting journey.